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The Creation of Hair Straighteners

June 23, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Hair straighteners work by breaking down the hair’s hydrogen bonds found in the hair’s cortex, which cause hair to bend and become curly. Once the bonds are broken, hair is prevented from holding its original, natural form, though the hydrogen bonds can re-form if exposed to moisture.

hairstraighten-curly.jpgA females hair before and after straightening.
The hair straightener some say dates back to 1872 to a Parisian gentleman called Marcel Grateau. His early invention which were basically heat rods, were used with chemical lotions and then added to the hair to straighten it. When these methods were used there were many draw backs. People would find their hair becoming damaged and in most cases burnt. The first patented hair iron was in 1906 by Simon Monroe, he created a tool that had metal teeth and then would be combed through the hair. They seemed to work but nothing like what we have today.

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This is the actual patent from Simon Monroe, whereas to show the whole document would have taken too much space.

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This is Simon Monroe’s drawn picture of the hot combs. He filed for the patent in 1903 and it was issued in 1906.

The first “real” hair straightener design would have to be in 1909 by Issac Shero, he patented and invented the first heated hair care tools.

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This was the actual patent and plans for Issac Shero’s Hair Straightener.

The first designs were hot metal plates that were used to slide through the hair, the products were a great improvement on the early day inventions and reduced risk on damaging the hair. He then advanced his designs and introduced ones which included the ceramic straightener and electrical straighteners. He was also the first person to have adjustable heat settings and different size hair straighteners. The most common hair straightener today would be the ceramic ones with the heating elements. It was proven by the early models that using straighteners can be damaging for the hair if not used properly or too much, this still applies today and the chances of getting split ends, or brittle and broken hair is increased. Unlike in the early days there has been advancement in many of the hairstyling tools to prevent this from happening. Products such as heat protection sprays and conditioning creams will reduce the amount of damage caused by excessive use.

So you have pretty much read a lot of “inventions” in our hair blogs lately. If there is one you would like to know about feel free to let us know. Till next time, Good Luck,

Niki

Who Invented the Curling Iron?

June 17, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

So who invented the curling iron? You will find many references to “invented” and “patented by” or “introduced by”. The original inventor is lost in the mists of time but this much I have found out…

In 1866, Hiram Maxim applied for and obtained the first of many patents at age 26 for a hair curling iron. He also has a machine gun bearing his name.

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Hiram Maxim 1840-1916.

Four years later, two Frenchmen, Maurice Lentheric and Marcel Grateau, used hot-air drying and heated curling tongs to make long-lasting Marcel waves. Twenty years later, Alexandre F. Godefroy, a French hairdresser, invented the hair dryer, composed of a bonnet attached to a flexible chimney that extended to a gas stove.

In 1905, Sarah Breedlove Walker created a cosmetic industry in Indianapolis, Indiana. She became the first African-American female millionaire in America after inventing a method for straightening hair using emollient creams and hot combs. In 1906, Charles L. Nessler, a German hairdresser working in London, applied a borax paste and curled hair with an iron to make the first permanent waves. This expensive process took a long twelve hours. Eight years later, Eugene Sutter adapted the method by designing a dryer that contained twenty heaters to do the job of waving more efficiently. Following Sutter was Gaston Boudou, who modified Sutter’s dryer and invented an automatic roller. By 1920, Rambaud, a Paris beautician, had perfected a system of curling and drying permed hair for softer, looser curls by using an electric hot-air dryer, an innovation of the period made by the Racine Universal Motor Company of Racine, Wisconsin.

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This antique electric curling iron has wooden handles and was made to plug into a light socket.

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This is an antique curling iron and crimper thought to be early 20th Century.

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Antique Victorian curling iron.

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This is a hair curling iron with a beaded silver handle. It was made by Mulholland Bros. Inc. in Aurora IL. active between 1915-1932.

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These irons were generally heated over a kerosene lamp then rolling a small tuft of hair in it to set the hair.

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The red one is made by Duro and has a push button to turn it on, neither the black or brown one has a name.

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Early Hair tongs.

Till next time Good Luck,

Niki

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